Wellington Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan has confirmed that he will not return to the club at the end of the season.
As reported last week, the Australian, who has shot the Phoenix since he was dismissed by Darije Kalezic last May, will be leaving his two-year deal halfway, despite the club's best efforts to retain him.
Rudan said it was extremely difficult to make the decision to leave.
"This was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in my career, so I came here and wanted a project to put my teeth in and really make a difference in our sport.
"I've said it before, this football club is special, there are wonderful people who make this club what it is, the people in Wellington and New Zealand really hugged me, thanks to all the supporters, business partners and the whole thing Team football club on such a big belief in me, "said Rudan in a statement.
Rudan's future has been the subject of much speculation since the beginning of this year as he struggled with his isolation from his Sydney-based family.
Since January, the Phoenixes have been trying to put together a package to convince Rudan to be driven by chairman Rob Morrison. This did not succeed.
Living close to his wife and teenage children is believed to be a deciding factor in Rudan's decision to return to Australia, even though the 43-year-old was also frustrated with the financial resources of the club and has spoken publicly about it several times Need for the Welnix owner group to be more ambitious.
"… As I mentioned before, the family is the most important to me, I'm first husband and father, and then football coach," Rudan said.
"Over the last few weeks, I've worked closely with the club to find a solution that ultimately could not be resolved."
The confirmation of his exit marks the end of a short but extremely successful era.
From the first day he walked through the doors, Rudan has stirred up the club, from the players' group to the back office staff, and he brings trust and conviction back to the organization after the phoenix's call up and down the field dramatically Kalezic's rule has come into his hands
He has helped several players produce the best football in their careers, especially young kiwis like Alex Rufer, Louis Fenton, Sarpreet Singh and Liberato Cacace.
His methods have also made striker Roy Krishna enjoy a breathtaking season, and former Socceroo David Williams is another who has responded positively to the environment under Rudan.
The former captain of Sydney FC has created a consistent, successful playgroup with a positive attack style, and the recipe worked.
The Phoenix are qualified for the finals for the fifth time in history and could top their highest score in the regular season (42 in 2014-15).
Four more goals in the last three regular season games will also mean a new record for the club.
The team had nine games without defeat from the beginning of December to the end of January, beating the best series of six so far.
This success has brought the fans back. More than 23,000 visitors came to Eden Park in February, a new club highlight for a non-final.
Rudan's departure, however, means that the franchise will again be looking for a new head coach and will again bring uncertainty and turmoil to the capital team.
Since the departure of Ernie Merrick in December 2016, Des Buckingham, Kalezic, Chris Greenacre (caretaker) and Rudan have occupied the position.